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How to cut 2x4 in the middle along the long side with circular saw?

How to cut 2x4 in the middle along the long side with circular saw?

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  #1  
Old 08-03-15, 07:53 AM
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How to cut 2x4 in the middle along the long side with circular saw?

Hello all,

Is there a trick that I can use to cut the 2x4 in the middle along the long side with a circular saw? I don't know a table saw and only get a circular saw.

Thank you
 
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  #2  
Old 08-03-15, 07:57 AM
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That is difficult to do [and potentially dangerous] with a skil saw. You'd want to clamp the 2x4 down good so you can concentrate on using the saw. What size do you need the cut 2x4 to be?
 
  #3  
Old 08-03-15, 08:24 AM
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Do you mean a pocket cut ripping the 2x4 length ways? Just be sure to use a guide on the saw and ease it slowly into the 2x4.
 
  #4  
Old 08-03-15, 11:43 AM
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Plunge Cut

I think the OP is talking about a plunge cut.

Mark your cut line.

Rest the nose of the shoe on the stock to be ripped with the blade above the stock.

Press the trigger and slowly lower the blade into the stock until the shoe rests on the stock and continue the cut.
 
  #5  
Old 08-03-15, 01:11 PM
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If you're ripping the board in half, it'd be much easier and safer to have an additional 2x4 on either side of the board to be cut, so the saw base will be fully supported. If clamping these boards together, be careful not to clamp so tightly as to cause the saw to bind at the clamp points, otherwise screwing the surrounding boards to the work stand is an option as well to keep the work piece contained.

Then clamp a guide rail (a piece of 1x4 would work for this if you can find one that's straight enough) at the location appropriate to place the cut and be careful to keep the saw on the guide.

If the slight difference in width isn't a problem, consider using a couple of 2x2s instead, it's much easier (2x2 will be 1.5" by 1.5", half of a 2x4 would be 1.5"x1.75 minus half a blade width if you cut the rip perfectly).
 
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Old 08-03-15, 01:24 PM
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I feel like this is getting a little over complicated. I make cuts like this all the time safely and effectively.

This video will tell you everything you need to know to rip a 2x4 with a skill saw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm4ysyPI6kg
 
  #7  
Old 08-03-15, 07:41 PM
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Keith.... in that video he was cutting a small part off of a 2x6.
A 2x4 is much narrower and much harder to cut in half.
 
  #8  
Old 08-03-15, 08:18 PM
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But what does ripping a 2x4 have to do with the title?
A 2x4 is much narrower and much harder to cut in half.
You lay a second 2x4 next it if needed to support the shoe. The key as shown in the video is using a guide.
 
  #9  
Old 08-03-15, 09:36 PM
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I wouldn't say ripping a 2x4 in half is any more difficult at all. Regardless the exact same procedure is used.

On another note, NEVER clamp another piece to the side of the one you are ripping!
 
  #10  
Old 08-03-15, 09:39 PM
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And I said lay not clamp. You don't want to pinch the kerf.
 
  #11  
Old 08-04-15, 03:18 AM
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I think we are arguing amongst ourselves on something that is not clear from the beginning. When I read the post, my thoughts were the OP wanted to rip the 2x4 on its edge, which is dangerous even with a table saw and must be done in two passes. Practically impossible with a circle saw without proper supports.

Let's stand back and wait on a response from the OP regarding what his actual intentions are. In addition to other comments, you don't "cut off" lumber, you "leave" lumber. Lumber can have aberrations in it so if you cut off 1/2" for instance, your edge may not be smooth, where it would follow the opposite edge if you left 3" under the saw guide.
 
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Old 08-04-15, 07:02 AM
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The only way I would consider resaw (rip to thickness) with a skilsaw would be to mount it under a table so a proper fence could be used.

Carpenters do crazy unsafe things all the time but you have to be careful what you suggest to a stranger in a public forum.
 
  #13  
Old 08-04-15, 01:06 PM
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I plan to cut the 2x4 in half, so that I can use it as desk legs.

Thank you
 
  #14  
Old 08-04-15, 01:11 PM
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@Keith,

> On another note, NEVER clamp another piece to the side of the one you are ripping!

can you explain this in a little details?
When I cut the 2x4 in the short edge with mitersaw, i always clamp both side so that the lumber is straight in both end. do you consider that is not safe?


thank youName:  Untitled.jpg
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  #15  
Old 08-04-15, 01:16 PM
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You can't just buy 2x2s or 2x3s?
 
  #16  
Old 08-04-15, 01:19 PM
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Hello all,

I thought about gluing 3 2x4 together and then cut the middle lines through the outer 2x4 as follows.Name:  Presentation1.jpg
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I need to half size 2x4 and use them for desk legs.
 

Last edited by q0987; 08-04-15 at 01:35 PM.
  #17  
Old 08-04-15, 01:36 PM
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@stickshift,

When i check the smaller stud in HomeDepot last time, they are not straight enough for desk legs.
 
  #18  
Old 08-04-15, 02:28 PM
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I wonder if the big box only sells PT 2x2s ?? PT wood is more apt to twist than regular white wood.

You do realize if you rip 2x2s out of a 2x4 the cut edge will require a good bit of sanding [maybe planing] to give it a finish similar to the milled sides.
 
  #19  
Old 08-04-15, 02:48 PM
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2x4

The OP has finally explained that he wants to rip a 2x4 all the way through. This is a job for a table saw.

If I did not have a table saw, I would clamp the front end of the 2x4 to a sawhorse and rip half way. Stop. Move clamp from the front end to the back end and complete the rip.
 
  #20  
Old 08-04-15, 05:31 PM
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miter saws can't do ripping cuts (along the length of the board), unless you're working with a short piece and eager to lose a finger.

I pretty much screwed up in recommending that the support planks on either side of the ripping piece could be clamped around the work (doubly so by implying that it might work with low enough clamping force). Screwing a pair of supports to a work surface on either side of the work piece would be the safer and smarter way to go about what I had described.
 
  #21  
Old 08-04-15, 05:39 PM
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is there room in the budget to just buy a set of pre-made legs?

keep in mind you could buy 2x2 as long as there's 30-36 inches of straight wood in the piece, finding a truly straight 2x2 in 6-8 ft length can definitely be a challenge, but it's not too hard to find boards that size with straight portions in the length you'd need for a desk.

Also, it could be easier to get some higher grade 1x2 or 1x3 boards and build up some good straight legs by joining two pieces together in an "L" arrangement (or even just a couple pieces of select 1x2 glued face to face would produce a piece very close to a ripped-down 2x4 without such a complex cut).
 
  #22  
Old 08-05-15, 12:22 PM
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@q0987, in response to your question about the miter saw, it is unsafe to clamp both sides of the work piece. Only one side should be clamped leaving the other side free to move away from the blade after it is cut. This goes for cutting anything with any tool (miter saw, skill saw, table saw, etc) never create a situation where both pieces are clamped and cant move away from the blade.

A few other unsafe situations to consider and be aware of.

Never cut a piece of lumber or plywood with both ends of the piece supported on a bench, such as cross cutting a 2x4 in half with each end sitting on a saw horse.

Never crosscut on a table saw using your miter gauge and fence. The cut off piece can easily get wedged between the saw blade and fence and come flying back at you. This can happen in a few other situations as well.


As for the cut you want to make, it can be done safely with a skil saw using the steps in the video I posted. Just keep in mind that there is a chance of kickback depending on how the stresses in the wood are released as the saw goes through the wood. A more powerful saw and a good quality sharp ripping blade can make a big difference in the quality and safety of the cut.
 
  #23  
Old 08-06-15, 05:53 AM
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@Keith Weagle,

I will remember your tips on safety. Here is the problem i am facing on when only clamping one side of the 2x4 while cutting the wood on miter saw.

After clamping one side of the 2x4, the other side will tilt a little and cause the cutting surface not straight.

Question> How to solve this problem?

Thank youName:  Presentation1.jpg
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  #24  
Old 08-06-15, 09:38 AM
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Can you not just hold the other end against the fence by hand (assuming there's a safe amount of material on that side)? the cutting edge of a miter saw turns toward the fence and the movement is toward the table, so the loose end is unlikely to kick up or out. Just don't try to hold larger stock with fingertips and keep all body parts reasonably far from the blade itself.
 
  #25  
Old 08-06-15, 09:42 AM
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I've never clamped down the wood while using a miter saw although it is important that both ends of the wood be adequately supported. Miter saws are for cutting lengths and angles - not for making rip cuts!
 
  #26  
Old 08-06-15, 09:47 AM
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I'm assuming that's a top view you drew. I've never had that problem and, if I did, I would be questioning the quality of the saw.

I'm also assuming this is an aside and has nothing to do with your original question of ripping a 2x4 since a miter saw would not be used for such.
 
  #27  
Old 08-06-15, 03:52 PM
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I am with Stickshift on this one. I have never come across a problem like that when using a miter saw. 99.99% of the time I never clamp the wood at all, just hold it in place with your free hand. Only time I will use a clamp is if the peice is too small to hold safely.
 
  #28  
Old 08-06-15, 04:09 PM
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I almost never clamp the wood on a miter saw either, but one thing I have noticed is that people invariably forget or otherwise miss cleaning the table. It may or may not be necessary with each cut, but, for me, it's pretty automatic to make the cut, raise the blade, pull the piece back, and swipe the backrest to remove sawdust or short pieces of waste. It doesn't take much dust back there to tweak the next cut, but, again, something that I have seen any number of operators overlook.
 
  #29  
Old 08-07-15, 07:06 AM
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Mitre Saw

Is your mitre saw a slider? If so, with the blade in the raised position, pull the saw toward you, lower to the cutting position, and push the saw toward the fence to make the cut.

I am with the others: I do not use a clamp when cutting with a mitre saw.
 
  #30  
Old 03-30-17, 12:15 PM
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Matt if you were trying to SPAM us you will be banned next time. As for the link it was not for beginners. She didn't use a rip guide.
 
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